Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

*The good news is that we have changed up the rotation somewhat so I get an office sometime before the 15th of July.  The bad news is husband and son made me realize we ALSO need to do the family room and bedroom (for various and hard to explain reasons.
Which means the insanity and everything out of place all over the house will continue till probably mid-August.  I’m too old for this.  OTOH it will be done… – SAH*

Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM MARY CATELLI:  Madeleine and the Mists.

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Enchanted pools, shadowy dragons, wolves that spring from the mists and vanish into them again, paths that are longer, or shorter, than they should be, given where they went. . . the Misty Hills were filled with marvels. Madeleine still left the hills, years ago, to marry against her father’s will. If her husband’s family is less than welcoming, she still is glad she married him, and they have a son, two years old. But her husband’s overlord has fallen afoul of the king. And all his men fall with him, including her husband. She sets out, to seek the queen and try to bypass the king — and the Misty Hills. Some things are not so easily evaded.

 

FROM AMIE GIBBONS:  Scorpions of the Deep (The Elemental Demons Urban Fantasies Book 1).

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As below, so above…

Sarah Blakely has lost the love of her life. With her world disintegrating under her feet, she abandons her post-college plans and moves back home. She’s trying to find her new direction when tragedy strikes.

On a hot summer night, one of her friends goes berserk and attacks, trying to take off with Sarah. No reason, no rhyme, just a man that took something and lost his mind, at least according to the police.

Sarah’s friend Beau isn’t so sure. The explanation that their friend snapped while on a bad trip doesn’t make sense. The whole thing feels wrong, and Beau thinks something more is going on, something beyond what most humans see.

Sarah doesn’t believe in anything more, though sometimes, she wishes she did.

But there are more things on Hell and Earth than are dreamt of in her philosophy. Dark things that feast on your emotions and use them to burrow in under your skin.

And one of those dark things has set its sights on Sarah.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN:   Intensely Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Thirteen

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Home is the Hunter . . .

Something moves in the darkness, hunting the hunters. An ambush leaves Lelia Chan weak and troubled. Her husband André returns from an extended deployment with problems of his own, some old, some new. Both shadow mages and their Familiars need rest. Their enemy, however, does not.

Magic solves magical problems: that’s the rule among Riverton’s magic users. But what if it doesn’t? Especially against a foe who is Intensely Familiar.

 

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is:Curious

30 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

  1. “Curious” the Master said to his new Apprentice. “There are plenty of curious things to wonder about in my world and your world.”

    “Do you get tired of me asking questions” the Apprentice asked.

    “Not really, I’m thousand of years old and I have questions that appear to have no answers. I’ve accepted that but still ask questions.

    Of course, there’s one question that concerns me. You and your lady fell through the Gate and arrived basically on my door-step. You landed in one of the few places of this world where you could get the help you needed to control your new powers. Did that just happen or was it planned and by whom? I have no answer.”

      1. It gets “better”, there’s a “necessary job” that the Master is unable (for various reasons) to do but the Apprentice and his lady can do. 😉

  2. A slight tremble. Peebles rolled. All but imperceptibly, the ground shifted. Thoughts in a creature as substantial yet diffuse do not often sum well into English. Human language tends toward grand abstractions, erosion, vulcanism, plate tectonics. This was simpler.

    The mountain, aware of the river below, thought: I must know.

    (50)

  3. Sherlock Ohms turned to his friend Wattson and said: “Now that it’s finished and the universe safe, perhaps I will call it The Fast Paced Curious Case Of The Vase Full Of Paste In A Place Wrapped In Lace That Left a Bitter Taste At The End Of The Race.”

  4. “This is a most curious collection. Strangely diverse, yet having a peculiar sameness within.”

    “Yes. Eclectic interests, in decided phases. Animals are all from her curare-ous period, all collected after dispatch by blowgun. The recipes all come from the curry-ous period, so there is a decided similarity amongst the lot.”

  5. “The Wolf is here?” whispered the Unseelie woman in despair. “We are lost!”

    “Well, maybe not. She’s a friend of mine,” said George confidentially. “I can probably work something out for you.”

    “You jest!” she said in disbelief. “Know you the nature of that creature, Human? She is death incarnate!”

    “Ah, she’s not so bad once you get to know her,” said George. “She was over to my place the other night for dinner. Nice manners, and careful with the furniture.” Brunhilde snorted a laugh at that, Guruh the werewolf had gotten tipsy on George’s prized scotch whiskey. She had accidentally squashed a lawn chair while singing a rude song at the top of her lungs.

    “You lie!” accused the elf frantically.

    “You caught me,” admitted George with an evil grin. “About which part?”

    She glared at him helplessly, unable to make that discernment.

    “I lied about the furniture,” said George, and the elf’s expression whitened even more as she saw it was the truth. “I’m curious though. Is this as much fun as you thought it would be?”

    “No!” snarled the elf. “This is a catastrophe! I will die! My entire clan will die! The Unseelie Court will expunge us root and branch!”

    “Oh,” said George with a great show of sympathy. “That’s a shame. Isn’t it?” he asked Brunhilde, who stood casually at ease behind him leaning on a fighting stick.

    “Cryin’ shame,” she agreed nodding sagely. “If only you hadn’t chosen us to mess with, eh?”

  6. The king sighed, for a moment looking as young as the guard captain knew him to be. For all that the oak-twig crown was tiny, his head bowed from the weight.
    “Healer. I am asking a simple question. Is the alchemist a danger to us?
    “It’s…complicated.” The healer ran a nervous hand through flame-red hair. The literal flames seemed to have stopped before they actually burnt him, but the captain had to admire the kind of loyalty that would keep his response to simply nervous, rather than screaming panic. Still, duty demanded that he ask the question the King’s dignity wouldn’t allow.
    “She set your hair on fire. How can that be complicated?”
    “Because she’s a very good alchemist, but she’s curious.

    (Insert earth shattering kaboom here)

  7. The paint was curious.

    It had been pondering existence and the meaning of the absence of color when it found itself sloshed over to the mixing machine, pigments were suddenly added, and then into the shaker.

    Now with a color of it’s own, it had been trundled home, and then it sat, still and enclosed in the can. But someone was out there – so the paint began calling.

    It was curious when it found a target for it’s call – and it was curious where she would apply the paint.

    Once she answered the call.

    So it called louder…

  8. The human pilot knelt and bowed his head when he saw Cynthia. That was… unusual, especially for a military man, plucked out of his broken warplane. A primitive, prop-driven aircraft, but definitely a warplane. She might have expected wariness or outright hostility, especially if he believed that she and Karock had been the ones who had broken his warplane. Or curiosity, or even amusement, given how much bigger he was. Even with him kneeling and her standing with boots on all four hooves, she had to look up.

    “Go ahead and stand. Or sit on the deck, if you want to be closer to my eye level,” Cynthia said. On impulse she added, “I though it was only in bad fiction that off-worlders were mistaken for divine beings.”

    “Not divinity, your highness,” the pilot said as he moved to sit cross-legged. “My uncle says one should never bow to angels. They might be fallen angels, and it’s rude even if they aren’t. But the Mater would give me one of her freezing looks, if I didn’t show proper respect to royalty. Especially before being properly presented and introduced.” He looked at her with frank curiosity now. Not just as if he had never seen a lyth before, but as if he had heard of them without ever having seen one.

      1. It’s a new scribbling from an old old back-burner[1] idea of mine: A Lord Peter Wimsey expy on a backslid colony world. The human pilot, of course, is the St George expy.

        [1] or more like “back of the freezer,” by this time.

  9. “Ugh,” said Imogene.
    Aidan looked away. The geometric shapes and the strange animals kept trying to draw his gaze back.
    “Those,” said Edwin, “are the carvings they call curious. Because otherwise someone would have to use a term that described them.”
    Aidan grimaced. No, there were no words for that.

  10. The drill sergeant looked up and down the ragged line of new recruits.
    “You are all worthless and weak!” He yelled with gusto, “ Why, I bet none of you could pour piss out of a boot, if the instructions were written on the heel!”A small cough came from down the line and a small shy boy raised his hand.
    The sergeant stormed down and confronted him.
    “ WHAT!!!”
    “Well Um, sir; I was curious: Was that the left heel or the right heel?”

  11. “Yes, that’s a computer. Just like the one that runs you, only bigger. Now get out of the way and let me work on it.”

    Toni took a firm grip on the robotic cat’s head, glad she didn’t have to worry about injuring it as she would’ve a biological one. “Cather, can you keep this catbot out of the way while I’m trying to swap out a hard drive?”

    Her husband came over to retrieve the offending machine, a failed attempt to create something to control the feral lab mice that had been nesting in Grissom City’s service plenums. “I never realized that the robotics shop had it programmed for curiosity.”

    “It’s not funny, Cather. If I damage something because of that thing poking its snout in my elbow, I’m going to reprogram it with a hammer.”

  12. I was camping with my best friend. It was late enough in the year that we were sitting up close to the fire. We were reminiscing about things we had done years ago, when a bright light flew over, trailing fire and smoke. I asked, “Was that a plane?”
    ” I didn’t see any wings. ”
    “Bolide?”
    ” They are usually blue or green. ”
    “Should we go look?”
    ” Nope. Not our business. ”
    “C’mon! Aren’t you curious, George?”

  13. “Aren’t you even curious?” asked Shagra.
    “No”, replied her master. “I don’t want to know.”
    “Why not?” she persisted “Aren’t you always telling me that knowledge is power?”
    Armand smiled, ruefully. “Ah, you caught me out. I’m an old hypocrite. First, because I’m afraid I would learn something I’m not prepared to handle. Second, because knowing would create an obligation to do something about it. Knowledge is not only power, but it creates responsibility…in this case, a difficult or heavy burden. Third, because the knowledge would not come easily. I would have to pry, and by prying, might damage something precious.”
    “But I am curious. I do want to know”
    “Then go. Investigate. Don’t let an old man’s fear hold you back”.
    Shagra studied his face. “Haven’t you also told me a time or two that fools rush in, where angels fear to tread?”
    This smile was a little less rueful. “I have, once or twice”.
    “And haven’t you also told me that preparation counters fear?”
    “That, too”.
    “Then, what, exactly is the shape of this fear? What is casting the shadow? Isn’t that what you ask me?”
    Armand burst out laughing. “And so the student teaches the master. Very good, Shagra. Let us explore the difference between caution and fear.”

  14. Mei lifted her right hand and was about to slap Nina across the face when her phone rang.

    “Shit,” she hissed, “I thought I had turned it off…,” when she realized that the phones of the rest of her friends were ringing as well. Even Hana’s hideously cutesy visual kei ringtone was going off. “I thought,” she growled, “I told you all to turn your phones off when we came in here.”

    “I did,” Kanon replied, and in a kind of horrified curiosity, she reached into the side pocket of her uniform to pull her phone out. Then, from the other pocket, she pulled the phone’s backplate and battery out, showing that the phone had been completely shut off and disassembled before they had shoved Nina into the storeroom they were in.

    Mei’s eyes turned from Kanon’s phone and in growing horror, she looked at Nina. She had pulled herself off the wall and had straightened out her uniform top and fixed her blonde hair in the half-minute it took to figure out what was going on. “You might want to look at your phones,” Nina sighed, and rolled her shoulders slightly.

    Mei swiped her phone open and the video of the man she knew from Osaka that she was having a enjo-kōsai-a “compensated dating”-relationship with played on the screen. It was a video that only she had, had never sent, had never let anyone else see, and she watched it for the thirty seconds it ran. Yuu was distinctly growing pale, and Hana looked like she was about to throw up. “How did you?” Mei hissed, and raised her fist.

    “Touch me in anger,” Nina interrupted, “And everybody sees those pictures and videos. And, harm me in any way, and everybody will see all the videos and pictures. You’ll all be out of this school so fast your heads would spin, and we all know it. I bet that Kanon would be ‘sent to the countryside’ or kicked out of her house in less than an hour. The rest of you would be lucky if you were sent to a different school.”

    Mei’s hand fell down to her side, fingers wide open. “What…,” she whispered, “what do you want? If you want money or something…”

    Nina sighed, and pointed at the bench in the storeroom. “Everybody, sit down. We’re going to have a little conversation. I promise, it will only be emotionally painful.”

  15. “How could we be anything else?” said Apollos. “However it happened? Weren’t you curious? I looked for anything that would explain it, but one thing was clear: those powers had to spring from those papyri. It’s the only thing that can explain our powers, even if we can’t explain how.”

  16. “It is, I suppose, more important that we learn quickly.” She sighed. “It’s dreadful to feel useless, but that library is so much larger than the one at my family’s house.”
    “Or the house I had,” said Ciara. “I think it had fewer tales, though. Especially of chivalry and adventure.”

  17. Her caretakers had shut her out.

    She sniffed along the gap at the bottom of the door, reached her foreleg in as far as it would go, and turned herself upside down to try to see under.

    Futile, as always.

    What were they doing in there? Why leave her out?

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